Of all my grandma’s recipes, her turtle bars are my absolute favorite. They’re my kryptonite whenever she sets them out. Since going keto, I’ve done a good job taking one bite and then passing the rest of it to my husband, but now I’ve done one better and made them into my keto dream! These low carb turtle bars clock in at only 2 grams net carbs per bar so I can now enjoy a whole bar without sharing!
Low Carb Turtle Bars
I shared my grandma’s turtle bars here eons ago. They’re full of white flour, brown sugar, and milk chocolate. And while they’re delish, they’re a blood sugar nightmare. A few low carb swaps, however, and we have a bar that’s only 5% carbs but still tastes amazing.
The Shortbread Crust
Making a shortbread crust low carb is actually super easy with almond flour. All you need is almond flour, melted butter, and a little sweetener (although you can leave the sweetener out in the crust if you prefer.)
My grandma’s recipe calls for brown sugar, so I opted to use some Sukrin Gold in the crust. However, you can also use my Low Carb Sweetener Blend with the option of drizzling a smidge of blackstrap molasses in there for that brown sugar flavor. Just be aware that molasses is a sugar product and will add a little bit in the way of carbs.
With how successful my Keto Caramel Sauce was, my first instinct was to use Allulose here. It works quite well, but I also tried it using my Low Carb Sweetener Blend and that works as well.
As far as how to decide between the two sweeteners? Allulose will give more of a slightly chewy caramel, and the sweetener blend gives a little more of a toffee-like texture. Allulose is significantly more expensive, but this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup, so take that all into consideration.
If you’d rather not make your own sweetener blend, you can also use Sukrin Icing. I think Swerve Confectioners would also work here, but I have not tried it.
I add a little molasses in here– just a 1/2 tsp for flavor. But you can leave it out if you want to avoid any sugar products altogether.
When swapping low carb sweetener for the brown sugar in the caramel, I found that the caramel browned more quickly than the crust. So to combat this, I par bake the crust for 5 minutes before I top it with the pecans and caramel.
I increased the pecans as well because pecans give me all the heart eyes and are a very low carb friendly nut.
The amount of time you need to bake these will vary from oven to oven, but what you want to see is a golden brown crust and that the caramel filling is bubbling all the way to the center.
As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate on top. I like to use Pascha dark chocolate chips here, but you can use a chopped chocolate bar. You can choose between 85% or darker dark chocolate and sugar free chocolate like Lily’s or LUV.
Leave the chocolate for a couple minutes until it’s completely melted, then carefully spread with an offset spatula.
Let them cool before cutting into 16 squares.
Guys. All my low carb dreams are coming true. These rock my socks right off.
And can I just say they’re excellent with coffee so if you opt to have them for breakfast you’ll get no judgement from me.
And none from your waistline, either. 😉
Low Carb Turtle Bars
1 1/2 cups (140g) almond flour
2 Tbsp (27g) Sukrin Gold (or Low Carb Sweetener Blend plus a drizzle of optional molasses)
1/4 cup (55g) melted butter
1/3 cup (75g) butter
1/4 cup (45g) Allulose or Low Carb Sweetener Blend
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
2/3 cup (70g) pecan halves
1/2 cup (80g) 85% dark chocolate or sugar free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease an 8×8 square pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together crust ingredients until fully moistened. Texture should be like wet sand. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes. There should not be much in the way of browning at this point.
While crust is par baking, combine butter, sweetener, molasses, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute while whisking constantly.
Sprinkle pecans evenly over par baked crust. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly on top and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly all the way through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow to melt, then spread with an offset spatula.
Let cool before cutting into 16 squares. Enjoy!
Nutrition per bar: Calories: 167kcal; Total Carbs: 3.8g; Fiber: 1.6g; Net Carbs: 2.1g; Protein: 2.9g; Fat: 16.6g